Monday, January 18, 2010

Gordon's prawns

Gordon Ramsay's F Word? These days, that would be frequently – as in 'frequently on telly, with diminishing returns'. He's back on Channel 4 tonight with Gordon's Great Escape, a culinary jaunt around India that at least promises to be more about food than celebrity fluff. Never mind the annus horribilis or that lost Michelin star: we'll tune in to see him make 'real deal versions of Britain's favourite dishes', if only to shake the taste of BBC 2's own Monday night offering, the tin-scraping Delia Through The Decades.

Hale and Hearty didn't get a preview copy of Ramsay's show, but we have cooked the Bengali prawn curry recipe he supposedly picked up on his travels. It's pretty good, too, from the rather austere, blend-your-own aromatic paste that only reveals its full character in the final minutes on the hob, to the relative luxury of marinated king prawns (I can't imagine Ramsay commanding his brigade to 'bulk it out with a bag of cheap tiddlers', but that's exactly what we did).

Is it authentic? It certainly has the subtlety– and seafood bias – you might expect from Bengali cooking. Resist the temptation to ramp up the seasoning and you'll have a healthy, warming bowlful with enough well-delineated flavours to make it interesting, if not particularly fun; you suspect most consumers of those aforementioned favourite dishes would demand something richer next to it on the curry-house table. As an appetiser for the show, though, it bodes well.

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